In Summer 2020, the Academy on Human Rights celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition from May 18 – 22, 2020. The Competition continue challenging student competitors and human rights practitioners alike by engaging them in cutting-edge legal discussions concerning the Inter-American human rights legal system, one of the world’s most active international legal bodies in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. As a part of the 25th Anniversary, teams and judges representing over 30 different countries participated in the evaluation of memorials and a week of virtual activities related to the theme of the 2020 Competition: Rule of Law and Human Rights: Strengthening Democratic Institutions.
We are honored that the panel at the closing ceremony had as panelists Joel Hernandez, President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Elizabeth Odio Benito, President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and was moderated by AUWCL Dean Emeritus Claudio Grossman.
As the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition celebrated its Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, we wanted to recognize all the actors who have been part of the American University Washington College of Law in the success of this project. The fact that the Competition is held at this institution is not by chance. The Washington College of Law has an extensive and solid relationship with the organs of the Inter-American Human Rights System. Currently, four former Presidents of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Professors Claudio Grossman, Robert Goldman, Juan Méndez and Carlos Ayala, are members of AUWCL's Faculty. Also, Professor Elizabeth Abi Mershed was Deputy Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, while Professor Claudia Martin was a Rómulo Gallegos Fellow and lawyer from the Secretariat of the same institution. Likewise, Professor Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón served as Ad Hoc Judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and lawyer of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. We encourage you to listen to and watch the videos of all the actors from the Washington College of Law where we have held the Moot Court Competition over the years!
Finally, our commitment to the Inter-American System extends beyond the Competition. At the Academy on Human Rights we work on all our programs to promote the work that the Commission and the Inter-American Court carry out to protect with courage and creativity the human rights in our region. Today, more than ever and as in all the times of crisis that have preceded its history, your work as human rights defenders is essential!